Get Avios in store with Debenhams & BA introduce self serve boarding gates

BA automated boarding gatesBA automated boarding gates

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Get Avios in-store

You may not be aware, but in addition to earning Avios through credit cards and flights, you can also earn them in High Street shops. As this is fairly new offer, the selection has been somewhat limited with Caffe Nero, Habitat, Heals and Ernest Jones being the only real names of interest. Now a much more useful brand has joined with Debenhams. This is currently only available via If you don’t have an account, it is easy to open and you can transfer into and out of BA Executive Club instantly. To collect Avios at Debenhams:

You will need to pay with a credit or debit card you have registered with Avios beforehand. Collecting the Avios is easy:

  1. Register your card(s) at this page.
    Click the ‘Register Now’ button, and record your debit or credit card details. You only need to do it once.
  2. Once you’ve registered, allow 24 hours before making your first purchase.
  3. Spend at any Avios In Store retailer, using one of your registered cards.

Your Avios should show in your Avios eStore account as “Pending” within 7 working days and credit to your account within 35 days.

There is more about collecting Avios through shopping in this article.


BA self serve boarding gates (and lounge access?)

British Airways will be the first UK airline to introduce automated biometric technology throughout Heathrow airport – with the launch of self-service boarding gates.

BA automated boarding gates

Following a successful trial last June, the first three boarding gates for UK domestic flights departing from Heathrow Terminal 5 are now open. Travellers scan their own boarding pass when they arrive at the gate and then walk through to the aircraft. A digital facial scan of the customer is recorded when they travel through security, and when they arrive at the gate, their face is matched with this representation when they present their boarding pass – allowing them to board the aircraft.

Three more British Airways self-boarding gates will open at each domestic departure gate each week until mid-June, with a view to roll-out the scheme on international flights in the future.

British Airways has also opened self-service bag drop points at Gatwick and Heathrow (review here), and later this year will introduce an improved, more streamlined connections area at T5.

BA are considering using automated lounge access as well. Whilst they may dress this up as technology advances, ultimately it is about cost saving. To me, it doesn’t exactly say ‘premium’ when you swipe your way into a lounge. However, if BA then spend that on improving something else, I could probably live with it.

Have you used the boarding gates at Heathrow? Did you find it an improvement or a cutback? Let me know in the comments below.


6 Comments on "Get Avios in store with Debenhams & BA introduce self serve boarding gates"

  1. TigerTanaka | 8 April 2017 at 8:11 am |

    I have used the automated lounge access scanners at AMS and they work really well. I suspect they also get less people “trying it on” if they are to get a big red “no entry” sign flash up on the screen in front of other passengers.

    I don’t think there is anything premium about handing your boarding pass to a dragon. Much better to get in the lounge quickly.

    • Thanks TigerTanaka. I agree about people not trying it on as much although I believe they will still have a staff member there too, there will just be a longer wait for the chancers!! I also agree that with BA there is nothing particularly premium about handing your pass to a human. However I have found with Virgin it was a very different experience. They were very welcoming and in my first visit gave me a guided tour of the club house! At the end of the day, if it is quick that’s what matters to most people.

  2. Peter Bull | 8 April 2017 at 4:06 pm |

    I wonder how boarding scanners will work with priority boarding? Presumably if you’re not in the right ‘category’ to board you will get beeped back to your seat? This could be chaos but come to think of it, it’s chaos now! 🙂

    • I’m intrigued as well. I will be having a look when I am there in a couple of weeks. They may have a priority gate perhaps? They didn’t on the trial gates but maybe they do now. I think it should make a very loud announcement ‘intruder alert non priority customer’. That would stop the interlopers! As you say probably not that different to the chaos now!

  3. TigerTanaka | 9 April 2017 at 10:08 am |

    I was at ARN last week and they have just installed an automatic gate at the priority security lane which doesn’t let you through unless you have fast track credentials.

    • That’s good to hear. Were there many chancers? Hopefully they will have the same gates at LHR.

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